Vastavam web: Venezuela’s opposition has called a fresh 48-hour general strike against embattled President Nicolas Maduro’s plans to have the constitution rewritten giving him broader powers. “We are calling out the entire (Venezuelan) people, all groups in society, for a 48-hour strike” Wednesday and Thursday lawmaker Simon Calzadilla said. Earlier police on motorcycles fired tear gas to break up an opposition march on the Supreme Court to press demands that elected socialist Maduro leave office, as months of sometimes deadly anti-government demonstrations showed no signs of abating.
That rally was also meant as a show of support for a slate of 33 magistrates – a so-called shadow supreme court – whose names were put forward Friday by the opposition to replace Venezuela’s current high court, which is closely allied with Maduro and frequently rules in his favour. Many of the actual court’s justices were hastily appointed shortly before Maduro’s ruling party lost its majority in congress. The shadow court has strong support from the demonstrators, organisers said yesterday. “Everyone has given their backing to the new Supreme Court,” tweeted Freddy Guevara, a leader of the opposition-led congress.
In yesterday’s march, hundreds of people took to a key Caracas motorway to head downtown toward the court building. But uniformed National Guard troops riding motorcycles fired tear gas to disperse them. “They are not going to frighten me,” Arteaga said in a video he posted on Twitter. He is seen in a hospital bed with bandages on his face and swollen lips. “We are going to keep fighting.”